CANADA STOCKS-TSX slumps on Fed rate decision, commodity price selloff

Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:47am EDT
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TORONTO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dropped sharply on Friday after the U.S. Federal Reserve revived concerns about global economic growth as it kept interest rates steady, sparking declines in the prices of oil and copper.

Global economic risks and about inflationary pressure prompted the Fed to push back its plans to raise interest rates.

After hitting a two-week high in the previous session, the benchmark Canadian equities index moved sharply lower to reflect its exposure to oil and copper stocks.

"The Fed is taking a conservative approach and they're going to take their time now," said Benoit Gervais, senior vice president and portfolio manager at Mackenzie Investments.

He said the energy sector would have to engage in cost and job cuts in order to counter the lower oil price environment. "The current state of affairs is unsustainable for oil companies," he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 173.44 points, or 1.26 percent, at 13,613.72. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were lower.

The energy sector slumped 2.4 percent. Suncor Energy Inc dropped 2.3 percent to C$34.31, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd declined 2.7 percent to C$27.20.

In the mining sector, First Quantum Minerals Ltd fell 5.5 percent to C$7.17 and Teck Resources Ltd lost 2.2 percent to C$8.52.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, slipped 1.1 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia gave back 1.6 percent to C$58.21. (Reporting by John Tilak Editing by W Simon)